1) Vigyan Ratna
- The Centre has decided to do away with over 250 awards given to scientists and medical researchers. There is a recommendation to close down a few awards, reducing the number of awards to few important ones and reconstituting some of the important national awards.
- Further, the home secretary recommended setting up Vigyan Ratna, a “Nobel Prize-like award.”
2) Buddhist Sites in Bandhavgarh: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has discovered a treasure trove of ancient relics at the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh.
- In Bandhavgarh, the Buddhist caves and stupas, and Brahmi inscriptions discovered date back to the 2nd century. The Hindu temples date back to the 9th-11th centuries.
- The Varaha sculpture found here is the world’s largest Varaha sculpture dating back to the 9th-11th centuries. The time period of the findings covered the reigns of the kings Shri Bhimsena, Maharaja Pothasiri, and Maharaja Bhattadeva.
- In Brahmi inscriptions, the ancient cities like Mathura and Kaushambi, Pavata (Parvata), Vejabharada and Sepatanaairikaa were mentioned. Inscriptions are also in Nagari and Shankhalipi.
3) MEI number: The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has made it mandatory for mobile phone manufacturers to register the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) – the 15-digit numbers that uniquely identify each mobile device – of all handsets made in India with the government.
- The IMEI is a unique number that is used to identify a device on a mobile network. It has 15 digits and is like a phone’s unique identity. The number is used to verify the identity of a device when a user uses the Internet or places a call through it.
4) New Chief of Defense Staff(CDS): The Government appointed former Eastern Army Commander Lt. General Anil Chauhan as the next Chief of Defense Staff (CDS).
- He shall also function as Secretary to the GOI, Department of Military Affairs
- CDS acts as the permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee which will also have three service chiefs as members.
- He also heads the newly created Department of Military Affairs (DMA) in the Ministry of Defense. The CDS will be the single-point military adviser to the Defense Minister on matters involving all three services.
- His powers will be confined to only the revenue budget.
- He will also perform an advisory role in the Nuclear Command Authority (NCA).
5) UAPA tribunal: The UAPA provides for a tribunal under a High Court judge to be constituted by the government for its bans to have long-term legal sanctity.
- Orders to declare an organisation as “unlawful” are issued by the Centre under Section 3 of the UAPA. The provision says that “no such notification shall have effect until the tribunal has, by an order made under Section 4.
- Thus, a government order would not come into effect until the tribunal has confirmed it. However, in exceptional circumstances, the notification can come into effect immediately once the reasons for it are recording in writing. The tribunal can endorse or reject it.